A WOMAN who was caught with a cannabis farm in her home walked free from court after a judge ruled she was exploited by others.
Judge Howard Crowson said 37-year-old Nicola Tingle would not have profited from the estimated £5,600 yield from the 14 plants.
He told Teesside Crown Court yesterday that other people must have used her Middlesbrough home as cover to set up the illegal grow.
Tingle, of Raydale, Hemlington, admitted a charge of producing Class B drugs and was given a community order with supervision.
The judge told her: "We are seeing more and more cannabis cultivation in the crown court in this area.
"Had I believed you were cultivating cannabis for your profit, the result would have been a very different one.
"You had largely been exploited, perhaps because you had been a user, or were at least coerced, and you were not going to gain."